What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
While playing music has been a part of my life for the last 15 years, making music has been a rather new experience for me. Getting to the point of feeling confident and being able to actually having a certain vision of what I want my music to sound like and rehearsing/recording it has been a long process, which is still ongoing.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
My releases have all for now been digital, one-off tracks (a live recording of improvised material and two remixes) with the exception of the Radials EP which I consider a more “canon” and coherent release.
A new, full-length album is in the works. It will continue with the same principle of the singing-songwriting mixed with a general ambience, largely improvised. It will consist of several parts, in which I engage with different approaches and influences – straightforward drone stuff, ambient/noise, field recording, perhaps some modular fiddlings. It’s a different process than Radials, for which I had a really structured vision of both aesthetics and music. This time it is more open-ended; I am looking forward to be as surprised as any other person with the paths and lengths the composition ultimately takes me to.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Godspeed You! Black Emperor have inescapably affected my psyche and my understanding of music. Coil have probably been my most important listen for the past 4 – 5 years and are a huge source of inspiration, a level I can only dream of but which I try to learn from. Ben Frost has to be one of my favorites and definitely an influence on the emotional and physical impact I want to achieve in my music. Have A Nice Life are I think the ones that made the concept of “drone and a tablespoon of acoustic guitar” go click in my head. Swans. Radiohead. Fever Ray. Kristin Hersh. John Cage. La Monte Young. Portishead. Sunn o))). Free Improvisation as a state of mind and music discipline.
Non-music influences I feel are less pronounced. Surrealism; especially “Les Champs magnétiques” by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. Post-modernism in popular culture – works by Grant Morrison, Peter Greenaway, David Lynch. Deconstructional or transgressive works – Neon Genesis Evangelion, The Sandman, Invisible Cities, Adventure Time, Princess Mononoke, Hot Fuzz.
Lastly, identity politics (including e.g. queer theory, intersectional feminism) have been a huge influence on me in recent years, and while it hasn’t shown in my music, it is something that might very well externalise naturally over the course of time.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Based on acoustic pieces, this project attempts to deconstruct them to end up with a less conventional instrumentation and structure, by using electronics, drone, dissonance etc. and ultimately incorporating them to a larger ambience, with a strongly improvisational character.
I am definitely still looking for my voice and would hesitate to call anything I do transgressive, innovative or experimental. Still, I have yet to encounter anyone playing a mix of drone, improvisational soundscapes and acoustic guitar/singing. I guess it is as good a place to start doing something different as any.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
We all know this is an impossible question, so I’ll try to not think too much about it:
1) Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Raise Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
2) La Monte Young – The Well-Tuned Piano
3) John Frusciante – The Empyrean
i) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, dir. Michel Gondry
ii) Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, dir. Terry Jones
iii) Stalker (Сталкер), dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
a) The Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
b) Life, the Universe and Everything, Douglas Adams
c) Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I definitely prefer performing live. There are several reasons for that:
I started as a music performer, rather than a music writer – I really love the feel of playing on stage and presenting a performance, a work.
Thus, it makes much more sense to me and I function comfortably when setting up a composition for performance, rather than thinking of ways to work on it in the studio. I always kind of hated when songs I loved for their small details didn’t work live or even omitted these details. I’ve come a long way and to a better understanding of why in many cases this is not the right point of view but I still often find myself fixating while working on a sound on the performance aspect of it.
Last but not least, there is a certain thrill of improvising live. Improvising has this really meditational quality to it and absolutely feels metaphysical – it never ceases to amaze me when I get really into it and get in this esoteric state that afterwards I have no recollection of my thought process. And this is one of my favorite aspects of music: being able to reach this point while also sharing it with an audience.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
No. I’m always dead serious, professional and in control. Always. I never have fun.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“Geiger Malfunction Isn’t Subtle”. It is in its entirety a free improvisation recording, and it is I think our second day rehearsing it before its performance. I am really proud of it as a completed piece, because it’s ended up having a great structure, too many good moments to list and it was a really intimate and rewarding experience. It is always liberating to play this way; feel like having a literal musical dialogue with other people, without having any restrictions while at the same time being able to set any aesthetic or concept and perform within them with any means you choose to, however paradoxical or out of the box. It really pushes you to explore things you wouldn’t otherwise.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
The aforementioned release, preferably by this summer and hopefully a couple or more of touring dates in Greece. Due to personal circumstances it is hard to imagine a more serious tour as a short-term plan. But I would really love to be able to play more gigs in the future, especially abroad.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
No extra question, sorry (:
Photo credits: Manos Chrisovergis (1st one), June Whitefield (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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